Mehbooba Mufti’s mother’s passport also rejected on adverse police report
Srinagar: The passport application of Gulshan Nazir, wife of former Union home minister and two-time Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, has been rejected following an adverse police report.
Her daughter Mehbooba Mufti’s application for a passport was also rejected and the PDP president had approached the Jammu and Kashmir High Court for the document but her petition was dismissed on Monday.
The mother and daughter, who had applied for fresh passports in December last year, wanted to perform ‘Umrah’, a pilgrimage to Makkah which can be undertaken at any time of the year, according to some People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leaders.
According to a letter sent to Nazir, the Regional Passport Office informed her that the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s CID department has not cleared her passport application under section 6 (2) (c) of the Passports Act.
Under this section, a passport is rejected by authorities if they feel that the applicant may engage outside India in activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India or the departure of the applicant from India may, or is likely to, be detrimental to the security of the country.
A passport can also be rejected, under the section, if the presence of the applicant outside India may, or is likely to, prejudice the friendly relations of India with any foreign country.
This section can also reject an application if the central government is of the opinion that issuing a passport or a travel document to the applicant will not be in public interest.
There are other reasons in this section which bars processing any application where an applicant has been convicted or is facing criminal proceedings or has a pending summon, according to the Act. But this is not attracted in the case of Nazir, whose husband Mohammed Sayeed had served as Union home minister in the 1990s and later as chief minister twice of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
“…your application for issuance of passport is refused,” said the letter issued by the passport officer to Nazir.
Mehbooba, a former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, tweeted that the passport office has rejected her mother’s passport application.
“CID (Criminal Investigation Department) claims that my mother who is well into her seventies is a ‘threat to national security’ and therefore doesn’t deserve a passport. GoI (Government of India) is employing absurd methods to harass and punish me for not toeing their line,” she said.
Mehbooba’s passport was also rejected under the same section of the Act and her petition in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court was also dismissed.
Dismissing the petition, Justice Ali Mohammad Magray had observed that Mehbooba’s application for a passport was rejected by the passport officer, Srinagar, as the police verification report recommended against the issuance of the document to her.
“In such circumstances, I am of the considered view that no direction can be issued by this court for issuance of passport in favour of the petitioner,” the judge said in his order
“Even otherwise, the scope of this court in the matter of grant or otherwise of passport in favour of an individual is very limited in as much as the court, in this behalf, can only direct the concerned authorities to expeditiously consider the case of an individual in the light of the mandate of the scheme of law governing the subject,” the order read.
In a letter to Mehbooba, the Regional Passport Office here had informed the PDP president on March 26 that her application for a passport was rejected on the basis of the “adverse” police verification report.
The passport officer also informed her that the CID of the Union Territory had recommended against granting a passport to her.
The letter said Mehbooba can appeal against the decision at a higher forum provided by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Commenting on the rejection of her application, the PDP president had said it shows the level of normalcy achieved in Kashmir.
“The Passport Office refused to issue my passport based on CID’s report citing it as ‘detrimental’ to the security of India. This is the level of normalcy achieved in Kashmir since Aug 2019 that an ex-chief minister holding a passport is a threat to the sovereignty of a mighty nation,” she had tweeted.